As a Business Coach I encourage all my clients to create and maintain a written plan for the success of the business. When you set out to accomplish something like growing a business, it is important that you have a firm grasp on what you are trying to create. Your ability to define it, quantify it, and describe it is a crucial step in your long-term success, and a written business plan captures this information in a concrete way. Getting your plan out of your head and on paper is much more significant than many owners realize. It is comfortable to have the makings of a plan in mind and not have to commit to anything, especially to anyone else! It is something else entirely when your plan is documented and shared with those who are critically important to the outcome.
Creating a business plan typically involves answering a lot of questions, doing research, and the mechanics of putting together a document that is comprehensive. While no business plan is perfect, and no one can answer every question or prepare for every eventuality, answering some key questions is much better than answering none!
The REAL reason you want to have a success plan is not the plan itself! The document is just the result. The real value is the process of PLANNING. The steps you take to investigate the market, your competitors, your financial strength and the requirements to achieve your goals is what truly makes the difference. Anyone can write a hypothetical paper complete with guesswork and optimism. That is just an academic exercise. In fact, you can purchase a pre-written plan that is created for your type of business. All you need is a credit card! One and done, and there you have it!
But possessing a plan is not the goal. Creating a well-written and thorough document is not the goal. The goal is the act of planning itself. Preparing a business plan requires work, thought and analysis. It requires you to ask ‘what if’ questions, and consider how you will win in the marketplace. It forces you to look at options and select the ones that best fit your opportunity.
The REAL reason you need a plan is that you need to THINK about your business. No shortcuts.
No skipping to the end of the story just so you can get on to the doing part! The discipline of effective planning will generate more return, save you more time and money, and preventmore disasters than you can imagine. Plan your work, then work the plan.
Warren Williams is president and founder of TurningPoint Business Coaching. He provides coaching to growing businesses in Concord and the Greater Charlotte area. Have a question about this article, or a topic you’d like to see covered here? Contact Warren at email@example.com or visit www.TurningPointBizCoach.com.